Becoming a dad…
Everyone talks about ‘you’re going to lose out on some sleep’ and it’s true, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because you’re going to be immersed in this new world, a new way of life that is intense, but it gives back just as intensely in beautiful moments and memories. It’s not easy, it’s tough. There are ups and downs every day, things change every day, but it’s a beautiful thing.
With my kids, Rory and Sienna, I started taking charge of night feeds. I was working in the entertainment industry in the theatre, so my day started in the evening. I’d come home after doing a show and have adrenaline that stopped me sleeping, so I went for walks at night with the babies to get them to sleep. That was our bonding time. It’s important for dads to find bonding time as parents. Sometimes it’s difficult for a dad to figure out when he fits in, but however small they are, we need to find those moments. There’s no one size fits all – it’s all about your life, your schedule, your situation and figuring that out.
Self-care is a really big part of that process as well. If you’re not well, how will you look after a baby? For me, I shared things with my partner, and we worked as a team. We both got time to regroup and take a moment when we needed it. Parenting is an onslaught, you have to be responsible 24 hours a day. It’s important for your mental state to take time for yourself so you can go back into it again and again.
Teaching my kids about racism
Being a kids tv presenter I thought it would be hard breaking down difficult concepts to the simplest forms for children to understand. You know, like explaining why the days are longer in the summer than the winter. Now being a dad, one of the most challenging things is teaching my kids about racism. Being from a mixed heritage it’s something they are bound to experience. We need to give our kids the tools to go out into the world and there’s no age that’s too early to start addressing issues around racism. Even from around 6 months old, there are books out there that depict different people, there are also toys that are more inclusive, tv programmes, games, Podcasts. These things all start to normalise different races, learning and talking about them. Slowly but surely, nurseries, schools, and establishments are all learning that this is something that needs to be addressed. Raising awareness about it will help people to talk to their children. Talking with other parents, like we do at Dadvengers, is so important to help address these issues. There are so many more openly spoken about family dynamics, I think educating people on these and making people sensitive to them an important part being a parent.